The rock, blues, country, jazz, and soul music that distinguishes the sound of America welcomes you with open arms on Bless Your Heart.
Down south, the phrase “Bless Your Heart” can evoke a variety of possible meanings. From heartfelt gratitude to sassy judgment. The potential interpretation speaks to the variety of our interactions with each other. The new Allman Betts Band album called Bless Your Heart gives you a variety of emotive vignettes to interpret. Pack your bags as we take a journey through the sonic landscapes of America.
Bless Your Heart is the second album by The Allman Betts Band. While the new record reaches across the breadth of possibilities that a rock band can travel, the Allman Betts Band kept a few things the same. The band’s line-up remains true with Devon Allman (vocals/guitar), Duane Betts (vocals/guitar), Berry Duane Oakley (bass/vocals), R. Scott Bryan (drums), John Ginty (keyboards), John Lum (drums), and Johnny Stachela (guitars). Once again, the band traveled to the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio to record with producer Matt Ross. Singer/songwriter Stoll Vaughn provided his advice during the writing process.
The opening song called “Pale Horse Rider” evokes the desert southwest. The reverb-heavy guitar and droning pedal tone provide the feeling of wide-open space. You can feel the desert wind as Devon sings the song of a wanderer searching for his salvation. When the full band joins in, the cascading guitars sound like rain as the bass and drums rumble with distant thunder. The dual guitar solos weaving in and out accentuate the desert vibes coupled with loneliness.
A banquet of sound greets you for the rest of the thirteen songs on Bless Your Heart. There is the rambling country blues of “Carolina Song.” Then the roadhouse rock of “King Crawler” complete with visions of beer bottles flying into chicken wire as the fat sax sings. A bossa nova groove meets a dusky western rockabilly on the song “Ashes Of My Lover.” This one would be right at home on the Pulp Fiction movie soundtrack. Barry Oakley makes his vocal debut on the lysergic “The Doctor’s Daughter.” This track will blow your mind.
Another song showcasing the diverse palette of Bless Your Heart is the “Should We Ever Part.” It exudes vapors of gothic rockabilly swing. The punchy snare and swampy bass make this song insistent. A grungy fuzzed-out guitar pushed to the edge is countered by bright and ringing slide guitar. The dark beauty of this song rules.
What will surely be a favorite of fans that love the extended jam is “Savannah’s Dream.” This song captures the beautiful jazzy blues that are a hallmark of The Allman Brothers. The Allman Betts Band absorbs you with twelve minutes of music that captures all the warmth and dynamics of an ocean breeze.
There is much to love about Bless Your Heart by The Allman Betts Band. The music is rich and satisfying. You get the sense of a band gathering up all that they love and transferring it into the music. This album will take you on a ride and fill you with gratitude for this gift of music.
Bless Your Heart is set for release on August 28.